Coming Soon: Sonny Tannan’s Through the Eyes of Om: Exploring Malaysia

Through the Eyes of Om: Exploring MalaysiaThrough the Eyes of Om: Exploring Malaysia, written by Sonny Tannan and illustrated by Agus Prajoro, is a sweet story told from the perspective of Om, a young boy with light-brown skin and big brown eyes. Om’s going on his first trip to Malaysia, his mother’s native country, where he will meet his grandparents and other family members for the first time.

Readers learn lots of fun facts about Malaysia, including customs for greeting elders, famous monuments, and basic geography. Prajoro does a lovely job creating vibrant images of clothes, food, and places. Continue reading

Bryan Smith’s Diversity is Key

Diversity if KeyAt first, I was suspicious of Diversity is Key, which is written by Bryan Smith and illustrated by Lisa M. Griffin. The first-person narrative unfolds from the point-of-view of a blond girl with pale white skin named Amelia. A new student from Japan will be joining her class, and this just happens to coincide with “diversity week.” The plot is a bit contrived and the tone is a bit didactic, but overall it works. Continue reading